Glottocode: ladi1251, ISO 639/3: lad

The Sephardim (Hebrew: Sefaraddim ‘The Jews of Spain’), who were expelled from Spain and Portugal in 1492 and 1497 respectively, are a Jewish ethnic group distinguishable from oriental Jews (Hebrew: Bene HaMizrah ‘Sons of the East’) and the predominantly Ashkenazim in Central and Eastern Europe. The three branches of Judaism differ in both the way they interpret Judaism, rites, customs, and folklore, and also in the languages they speak.

On July 31, 1492, the last Jews who had not converted to Christianity left the realm of the Catholic Monarchs, Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. Around 12,000 Jews fled to the Kingdom of Navarre from which they were expelled again after seven years. Most of them later fled to Portugal, Italy and North Africa or, following an invitation from Sultan Bayazid, to the Ottoman Empire.

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